- Category: Bread
- Country of Origin: Indian Subcontinent, Western Asia, Myanmar, Caribbean, Indonesia
- Main Ingredients: All-purpose flour, leavening agent, salt, sugar, water
Naan is a leavened, oven-baked or tawa-fried flatbread which is a specialty in the northern states of India and found in cuisines mainly of Western Asia, Central Asia, Indian subcontinent, Indonesia, Myanmar, and the Caribbean.
Naan is found in different variations in distinct parts of India and usually refers to a specific kind of thick flatbread which is leavened with yeast to form a soft and chewy bread. What gives naan its authentic taste is the fact that it is cooked in a tandoor which also summarizes the famous tandoori cooking style. This is one of the ways which distinguishes naan from regular roti which is also a flatbread made with whole wheat flour and cooked on an iron griddle called tava. A dash of butter spread on top of naan gives it an enhanced flavor that melts smoothly on the tongue. Naan enjoys a special position in the Indian cuisine as it can be used with a variety of food items and to scoop gravies or can be served stuffed with a filling.
Naan has a natural marriage with Indian and other South Asian gravies and curries and can also be used as wraps for various toppings of meat, vegetables, or cheeses. There are a lot of variations of naan such as butter naan, paneer naan, garlic naan, masala naan, etc. that are easily available in restaurants and dhaba to be relished. These teardrop-shaped soft and cushioned flatbreads that have rippled surface which are smothered with butter, Naan is a renowned food item that is hard to resist.
Making of Naan
A typical Naan recipe involves mixing the all-purpose flour with active dry yeast, salt, sugar, and water. Although, in the modern recipe baking powder can be used instead of dry yeast to ferment the dough. The dough is kneaded for a few minutes and set aside to rise for a few hours. Once risen, the dough is divided into balls, which are flattened and cooked on a tandoor and served hot either plane or with a layer of butter on top.
One serving of naan contains 262 calories from which carbohydrates is in the maximum amount approx. 45 grams. Its also offers energy in terms of sugar, fibers, and proteins, fats, and minerals such as niacin, iron, etc. Though a heavy intake of naan everyday can help in obesity, an infrequent amount causes no harm and in fact provides the needed fats and carbohydrates for the body. Not to mention, it tastes great and can complement a meal made with a variety of flavors, herbs, and spices.
A soft, chewy, and bubbly flatbread made to taste heavenly on a tandoor and served to be wolfed gleefully with a dash of butter, Naan is an ideal accompaniment in a variety of gravies and can turn any normal meal into a wholesome one.
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